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March 28, 2004


Jake Squid

Thanks for your continuing refutations of Ben Bateman's nonsense. I've been reading his stuff for some time now and, it seems to me, he keeps digging himself farther and farther into a nonsensical hole. It is my belief, after reading many of his essays & observing his interactions with those of different opinions, that Mr. Bateman is a mean spirited moron. Sometimes I think that there is no need to address his opinions anymore as they have ceased to make any sort of logical sense whatsoever. But I know that it is indeed necessary to counter absurdist arguments whereever they are found.


I'm still reeling from reading Mr. Bateman's comments. Thank you so much for your very thoughtful and well-written response.

And I'm still shaking my head at the 'read Cinderella and the red-headed child' statement. Yes, if we are doing to debate by fairy tale, I think he should read the hundreds of traditional tales of adopting to become _real_ parents from many cultures, though he really doesn't need to go far. He only need to read the biblical stories of Mordecai and Esther, or even Moses.


Thank you both. I was hesitant to repeat those insults, even in the context of my response. I couldn't let such statements go unanswered, though.

Thankfully, I think even most people opposed to same-sex marriage would not share Mr. Bateman's view of what makes a parent. (I have honestly never heard such an outrageous claim until his post).


I'm still reeling at the idea that any writer would believe readers would all uniformly assume the word "parents" always implies "a male and a female who provided DNA to create a child." and is never understood to mean "people who take a child into their care, provide for them, and nuture them"

Why does this make me wonder what the meaning of is, is?

Nick Kiddle

Another thing the "genes matter" brigade are missing is that having supplied DNA to your children makes it possible to view them as a genetic investment rather than, say, a human being in their own right. "Genes matter", even if it were true, would cut both ways.


What about the lesbian couples where the egg from one woman is fertilized and implanted in the other? Genetically the non-carrying mother is related to the child and the pregnant mother's body nourishes and give birth to the baby? Aren't both women then biologically related to the child? Not that this should matter, in my opinion. Thankfully most people do not define family and love in such narrow-minded ways.

Biology is not destiny and biology alone does not make someone a parent. It's absurd that they are painting themselves into that corner. I'd love for them to talk to a group of parents with adopted children and tell those parents they love their children less because they're not biologically related. They are insulting all "unconventional" families when they make these arguments. Shame on them.


Yes, the arguments are rather absurd. The paint seems to be closing in all around their corner. I don't believe that Mr. Bateman directly said those parents love their children less (although the references to neglected and abused children seems to come mighty close). I did find the reference to "helping" to raise "another's" child to be particularly insulting, though. Furthermore he is actually saying that those people should not be married.

What I find insulting to everybody, is how he reduces a human being to a gamete factory. "Darling, will you be my egg provider?"..."We are gathered here today to unite these eggs and these sperm...."...."Congratulations! That's a wonderful sperm donor you married. You two make a great zygote."


While I'm disgusted that someone would make such a statement - in a "public" place, I have to say that I can't be surprised. The logical and rhetorical knots that SSM opponents have tied themselves into leaves little room for arguing otherwise. Yes, they've painted themselves into a corner...

But being backed into a corner, even one of your own making, brings out the real person. And in this case, exposes SSM foes - at least in Bateman's case - as just mean spirited bigots.

A great refutation, Galois.

Tom Chatt

Just recently discovered your blog, and am catching up on some of these great posts. The syllogism you present, and Mr. Batemen's bizarre dissection of it caught my eye. In a debate with the "Anal Philosopher" about the same concept, I expressed their implicit fallacy in the form of a syllogism:
Marriage is for childrearing.
Childbearing is inherently heterosexual.
Therefore marriage is inherently heterosexual.
This of course depends on allowing the non-sequitur slip from "childrearing" to "childbearing". You can check out the post here if you like:

Keep up the great work!



Thanks for bringing my attention to your post and your site. I've added it to my blogroll. The conflating of childbearing and childrearing is quite common and has been used frquently as a basis for gender discrimination in other areas as well. Women bear children. Therefore, it is argued, it is the woman's responsibility to raise the children and not work outside of the home. The first statement is certainly true, but the next statement does not at all follow from it. That's the problem with most "natural law" arguments. I'm having a discussion/argument on another thread right now along these same lines.

In any case, thanks for the comment and I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

John M. Cook

Is the Ben Bateman referred to in your blog, the same one that creates the Mankind Toon cartoons? I am planning on using his toons in the humor section of my church's website. Please let me know. Thanks,


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